I’ve seen the icicles hang in the burning silhouette
I’ve been reminded of the unspoken truth
caressing my frozen ghosts
I’ve crawled between the spider like despair and mesmerizing sunset

Let the explanations seep and bellow
Let the justifications trickle down my face
Let the interpretations subside in the dusk
Let the denial drip down my pale cheek
I plead with my contradictions

I’ve tugged on my restlessness and uneven faith
I’ve been surrounded by strangers with
mind numbing tension
I’ve sought out simplicity but eroded into complexity

Let the explanations seep and bellow
Let the justifications trickle down my face
Let the interpretations subside in the dusk
Let the denial drip down my pale cheek
I plead with my contradictions

I’ve drifted away from the sympathy and magnetized to the obscurity
I’ve stolen hidden glances in my sleep and dream of the awakening
I’ve ran from fears wrestling in the dark and disappear in the light

Let the explanations seep and bellow
Let the justifications trickle down my face
Let the interpretations subside in the dusk
Let the denial drip down my pale cheek
I plead with my contradictions

The dark side is gravitating
Scrambled thoughts of my reality
Playing with the toys in my closet
A world you could care less
Claiming to know me completely
You know what you want to know
My efforts to shed dead skin get unnoticed
I grin on the inside of these vandalized walls
We share a love that wears many disguises
that you refuse to see
You chose to see only a few layers of me
We display a miserable performance
Consistently staring into my silence
I can’t make you use your tongue
I will never be enough or give enough
You are as broken in pieces as me
You don’t know how to walk away
I dare you to walk away like the rest
The grin expects the unexpected
Can you spell the word depression
Waiting for God to take me away
You will understand me when I’m dead and gone
And give more of yourself to another man
The dark side is gravitating

I witnessed a revolution within my evolution
Blending between the escape and noise
Seeking a discrete language within my bones
Torn into shrapnel and self diluting conflict

“Son, you can never walk away from the pain
Don’t bother trying if your mindset is the same
We all have to fall to see where we are
It takes a lifetime to recognize what was easy and what was hard”

Thirty five years passing by,
Staring at the same rooms with the same old eyes
Points of view turned me into stone
It’s not a secret that I’m walking alone

I’ve held a reputation to ignore the sensation
A fusion of mediocrity and ignorance
Hunting down a passage in a coma
Frayed and twisted in my frozen mind

“Son, you can never change what was
Don’t bother trying to walk off the buzz
We all have to crawl before we can run
It takes a lifetime to recognize what you’ve become”

Thirty five years passing by,
Staring at the same rooms with the same old eyes
Points of view turned me into stone
It’s not a secret that I’m walking alone

From the mind of Braeden Michaels, drink from this cup, the raven’s poison, a concoction of his collected poems all about the human condition. Imbibe in the rainbow of emotions found in the soul’s colors and taste the bitter aftertaste when you’re drenched in rage.

Indulge in the reasons beneath dripping lust before absorbing all the ways we experience our wide-ranging flavors of love and finish off with a sip of self-destruction. This is us. Humanity. All the layers stripped away and arranged for your pleasure.


Check out my book on Amazon!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Reviews

“I opened my eyes to see the ugliness and beauty of humanity”

Braeden Michaels creates a curve in the poetic stratosphere revealing glimpses of the characters who walk amidst the life of newly-widowed Stella Walker. By exposing the flaws, scars, quirks, and the light we see in each other, this profound collection generates a fine line between friendships and acquaintances.

Within these pages, we are introduced to different shades of colorful characters in varying points of their lives. Every poem describes the hidden truths and realities of human attributes. Each perfectly imperfect person we meet is a representation of the people we run across in our individual journeys which then become stepping stones in our own growth.


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Love was just an insignificant occupant making me gag
Love was just a bad joke I heard in another language I couldn’t comprehend
Love was just a citizen that held me down and raped my soul with a jagged knife
Love was just a stench I couldn’t wash out
Love was just a word created by Hallmark
Love was just four letters thrown together to serve a ridiculous purpose
Love was just a shadow so I can feel myself
Love was just a bruise on my shin to prove I exist
Love was just a song written by a billion dollar jester
Love was just a death wish waiting in the wings
Love was just a plant I didn’t water
Love was just a black eye with covered up lies
Love was just a watercolor I can’t see
Love was just mascara running down my face
Love was just a cloud of obscurity
Love was just a gram and a kilo of voids
Love was just a room of emptiness
Love was just a shattered mirror I look at every day
Love was just a pile of poems that made sense one day
Love was a just a pile of poems that I threw away the next day
Love was just an adolescent that claimed to know it all
Love was just an adult with an addiction that didn’t know a damn thing
Love was just a bomb that exploded on planes, in buildings, and in schools
Love was just a clan, cult, gang, a war of losses
Love was just a book that millions don’t read
Love was just a doctrine of stolen beliefs
Love was just a pile of divorce papers
Love was just a trigger pulled by one finger as the other four were staring at him
Love was just an overused word
Love was just ten minutes of causal sex
Love was just an irrational scream
Love was just the sun not seeing the moon
Love was just a down payment for an item I haven’t touched
Love was just a puzzle piece that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere

She’s exhausted from spilling ink
She’s uncertain with her fingertips
She’s wobbly and shaking on the inside
She’s powerless from the past
She’s flimsy as a thin piece of paper
Sing me a song for wide hope
Sing me a song for stretched out faith

She’s frail within her bones
She’s isolated from the rattle
She’s licking her wounds quietly
She’s aching for companionship
She’s comfortless and abandoned
Sing me a song for freedom
Sing me a song without chains

She’s tangled up in desolation
She’s withdrawn and torn down
She’s a tragedy without a witness
She’s reclusive and friendless
She’s a sky without any clouds
Sing me a song for change
Sing me a song for healing

I know it’s Thursday when the nurse brings the little paper cup with five pills instead of three. A sip of tepid water and I go back to staring out the window. I can’t abide small talk. Never could. Better to observe my surroundings than spin idle words. My wife understood that, why don’t these young kids get that? Always on about the weather and am I comfortable and did I sleep well. Of course I didn’t sleep well. I haven’t slept well since I was brought to this place. I keep quiet, I know when to keep my mouth shut. It’s Thursday and she always made meatloaf with gravy and fresh baked rolls on Thursdays.

I constantly see him gazing. I can see memories crawling up and down a mammoth hill in his mind. I can see his mind slowly deteriorating as the seconds go by on our grandfather clock. I often glare at the Roman numerals on it and think of the precious years our love glowed. It breaks every piece of my heart to see him in a hospital bed. I thought I have embraced every minute with him. The last few years we have gone through the motions and hate the tears that fall into my lap. I’ve thrown away countless hours giving him the bare necessities and nothing more because of the silence that pierces through the friction of our marriage.

As soon as I close my eyes, I open them again to the sounds of a young woman opening the curtain. It’s no longer dark outside and I remember Sarah rose early during the week but slept in an extra hour on Saturdays. The nurse smiles at me and asks how I slept. She knows I haven’t slept but a moment yet her mundane prattling eases the sting of being away from my wife at least for a few minutes. I wonder when I saw her last. I miss her hand in mine. How her eyes sparkled as she laughed and smiled. Saturday mornings were made just for her and me.

He gawks at that nurse like he used to at me. I gave all of myself to a man that knew how to take but struggled to give. Parts of me cry like a baby. He never raised a hand or cheated on me. More often it felt like he was going through the motions. Parts of me are frozen. I often watch him sleep and watch his favorite television show. He was enthralled with details, crime, investigations, interrogation, lines of questioning, and trying to figure out the culprit. Benjamin Matlock was his companion more than I was at times. Parts of me chuckle saying that. Sometimes I even stare at that young nurse.

I remember this one evening, this evening when my wife, Sarah, was so upset with me because she had asked me to fix the sink in the kitchen, we were always having problems in the old house with it and she asked as soon as I got home please fix the sink but I was tired from work and I just wanted dinner and to watch the television, my favorite show came on right after dinner and I was so fascinated with the characters and the mystery and I was tired and I ended up falling asleep in my chair and when my wife woke me up she was so cross with me because I didn’t do as she asked and I remember I always liked to guess the ending of the show before they solved the mystery.

As much as I love him, too many times it came across in our marriage he was consumed by things that weren’t real. It was almost as if he was engrossed by make believe to avoid the realities going on in our marriage. He neglected confrontation and was absorbed by the simplicities of life (sex, television and food). I was marveled by his ability of not needing anyone. The appearance of being fulfilled by “things” fascinated me. I know there is more going on underneath but was never one to display that.

She sits and waits for me to say something. Anything. I know it. I can’t say a thing. What will she think? I was five when I learned my lesson well. Danny was eight. Daddy beat him until he fell off his chair, beat him until he couldn’t get up off the floor. Daddy said he’d learn his lesson. Daddy lifted the iron from the hearth and burned the sin from Danny’s hand that evening. I begged him to stop. Surely Danny would be good now! Daddy turned with dark, dark eyes and asked if my tongue needed the sin burned from it too. I closed my mouth and stopped my crying. I didn’t need the glowing red iron to brand his rules into my mind. I learned my lesson that day. Keep quiet and never get caught stealing. I never could say a word. How would Sarah look at me, knowing she married a coward. I stole the candy that day.

Danny hugged me tight. The tears were endless. William passed away at 67 years old and have been married for 41 years. Just like any other marriage we had our ups and down.

He was slowly decaying for the last 15 years of them. Our love was like rain – it poured, drizzled and sometimes it was dry. I can’t say he or even myself showed love consistently. I loved our memories but as the years went on both of us were going through the motions. Here I am sobbing creating more rain – the love we should have made. Perhaps it wasn’t just him falling apart in the last 15 years, it was myself. I took him for granted. I walked away with my hands clenched trying to be strong. Everyone stared at me. I needed a breath of fresh air and all I could see is rain. William loved the sound of the rain.


Check out Tara’s blog if you haven’t! This was a fun collaboration.

I woke up next to a vulture with a
dog bone chain around her neck
Staring at me with vile
I woke up next to a flame that wrapped
her sins around my waist
Staring at me with corruption
I woke up next to a blood sucking leach
that smirked with a lush appetite
Staring at me with disdain
I woke up next to a villain made up
of clay hiding the weapons
Staring at me with a plan
I woke up next to a furious soul
that was shaken from discomfort
Staring at me with delight
I woke up next to a bitten snake
that slithers through the camouflage
Staring at me with vengeance

I found you…

Unraveled and detoxing from the vibrations. I saw lies injected into your shriveled up sun. I saw you nauseas from the sight of the blood dripping from the roses. I saw a self indulging massacre spin. I walked away from your propellers. I saw the crash from a distance in slow motion. Fixated and obsessed with the numbness. I witnessed you crawling through the trenches. I saw you fight with your own scars. I saw you plead with your skeptic past. I saw you disappear into the white light.